The following are questions you can expect to be asked when on an interview for an ESL position. These are only the more ESL specified questions, you can also expect to be asked all of the typical interview questions.
1.What level(s) do you prefer to teach? (Be sure to specify a level which the school teaches. If they are an elementary school you obviously don’t want to proudly state that you are best when teaching adults. You also might want to state whether you’d like to teach beginners, intermediate learners, or advanced learners. This helps the school in placing you in the right position.)
2.What sort of previous experience do you have working with children/adults/adolescence?
3.Which textbooks have you taught from? Do you have experience creating your own curriculum? (Often times schools will provide you with a textbook. However, in some cases you have to create your own lesson plans. It’s good to be aware of this, and if you have special requests for teaching materials, or would like to use your own books as class guide, this is a good time to let that be known.)
4.What kinds of problems can/do you anticipate in teaching a class of children/adolescence/adults? How can these problems be avoided or fixed?
5.How would you handle a group of disinterested children/adolescence? (Remember that handling children and adolescence is different. With both you should draw their attention in. However, you have to keep that attention in different ways. With children this requires a number of different activities that change at a fairly fast pace. This will keep them entertained and generally under control. With adolescence you can use interesting topics of conversation and generous amount of humor to draw them in and keep them. Don’t let class get to dull or dry and you should be okay. Remember to encourage a great deal of participation from the students, this also requires them to pay attention while still feeling that they are willingly taking part and not being forced to.)
6.What kinds of things would you teach to a group of absolute beginners with no previous exposure to English on the first day? (This question is highly common in schools with young learners, usually 3-6 or so. The best thing to remember is that nouns are highly easy to teach and references for what these things are can be found throughout the classroom. I.e. door, wall, cup, ect… Schools often also provide cards with simple pictures of apples and the like, which can easily be taught.
7.What do you expect/want from an employer? (Be honest here, this is absolutely important to see if you and the potential school see eye to eye. The school also appreciates knowing up front what is desired by their teachers, so its good feedback for them as well. Just remember this is not a venting session and they don’t want to hear about all the problems of your last position. Try to keep it positive such as answering with a simple statement and giving a reason why that this is important. Schools appreciate a teacher who does not divulge unnecessary information about their last school as they don’t want you to do that to their school if and when you leave.)
What you should ask:
Questions about salary and hours should have been explained to you already. However, if they were not, you should certainly start out asking those highly basic questions. The following questions are important to ask when choosing a school. Although both may pay the same amount a month, one school may offer better benefits than another. Many of these things, if not all, are benefits that a good school will offer. If you are receiving too many “no” answers to these questions, you might want to reevaluate your interest in that particular school.
1.What is the salary? Is it paid monthly/weekly/biweekly?
2.What are the hours like? How many actual teaching hours are there a day?
3.Is accommodation provided? If not, is there a stipend given to rent an outside apartment?
4.Are there any paid holidays? What/when are they?
5.What kind of support is available to teachers? (I.e. technical, finding/maintain an apartment, travel, teacher’s activities, etc…)
6.Is there a travel allowance?
7.Will the school reimburse airfare each year?
8.Is training paid?
9.What other benefits are available?
10.Are there any duties outside of teaching which will be required? Are these duties paid or unpaid?
11.What textbooks does the school use? Are all class materials provided for teachers and students?